First, let me start off by saying that I am glad that this book is back in print after so long, simply because it deserves as much attention as it can possibly receive. It's always been one of my absolute favourites, and I'm happy to say that I own the other two editions (USA and UK) that have come before. So, please realise that I don't take issue with the novelization itself, and actually can't recommend it enough! Anthony Minghella's writing is sheer genius!
My issue is with how the book is presented.
This current edition, while presented as a hardcover with some new and fascinating behind-the-scene production images of the series at the back of the book, is disappointing. I just expected so much more love and sophistication to be visible in the offering up of it. I would have liked for an even higher quality presentation such as glossy pages, leatherbound, and a red silk bookmark attached to the binding -- maybe even a CD included at the back in a vinyl sleeve of John Hurt, the Storyteller himself, reading the stories -- but we don't get that.
Also, don't be fooled. Instead of Darcy May's beautiful illustrations which Amazon and GoodReads both claim to be included in this new edition, we get instead lack-lustre black-and-white drawings from a different artist which really don't do the book justice or transport the reader into the stories at all. If you're fond of the classic faerytale illustrative style and expecting it in this volume, I fear you will be sorely disappointed.
It's very frustrating. For anyone who loves the Storyteller series and who were introduced to or had their love deepen for European faerytales through it, this edition really is a letdown. Archaia could have pulled out all the stops and truly have made this a grand book on the scale that shops like Folio Society do with theirs... but they don't even come close.
For a "newbie," this is fine, I suppose. But if you want better than "fine," get the 1991 Boxtree edition (ISBN: 978-1852837211) featuring Darcy May's colour illustrations or, better yet, the UK edition with high-quality screen captures from the series itself.